Friday, April 5, 2013

Birdseed Biscuits

Spring has sprung in Denver, and we need some activities to get us out of the house!

At the grocery store today, I passed by a display of bird seed. Years ago, when I was pregnant with Oliver, I flipped through a Parenting magazine at my OB-GYN's office. I saw an article on how to make a cute, little, heart-shaped birdseed biscuit. I tore it out and saved it in my recipe box. When I started on Pinterest over a year ago, I went through a bunch of things I'd saved, pinned them, and then tossed out the random articles and how-to's that I'd saved. Let Pinterest save them for me! So, anyway, I found the birdseed biscuit online and pinned it here. When I saw the birdseed at the grocery store, it reminded me of the project. I decided Oliver is finally old enough! I picked up a 7-pound, reclosable bag of wild bird feed for $6. Warning to parents of kids with severe allergies: the bag of bird feed I picked up said it contains peanuts.

When we got home, I asked Oliver if he wanted to help me make some food for the birds. You guys, he got so excited!

Here's what you need to make your own bird seed biscuits:

*Bird seed (approximately 1 cup)
*Flour (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
*Water (as needed, but approximately 2-4 Tablespoons)
*Cookie Cutter (Or use a cup to cut out circles)
*A straw
*Ribbon or string

Here's how we made our biscuits:

I handed Oliver a 1/4 cup measuring cup and asked him to pour 5 scoops of the bird feed into a bowl. Not all of his scoops were full scoops, so we probably ended up with about a cup of bird seed in the mixing bowl. I asked him to add one small scoop of flour. He filled up the same measuring cup about halfway with flour and dumped it in, so we had about 2 Tablespoons of flour to our mix. This isn't an exact science, so go with it! I filled a small pitcher with just a splash of water. Oliver poured it in and mixed everything together. It looked a little dry, so I got a bit more water. The water and flour basically make a paste to hold the birdseed together.

While he mixed, I preheated the oven to 170 degrees F. I sprayed my cookie cutter with Pam. I lined a baking sheet with a silicone liner I have, but you can just put foil or parchment paper on your baking sheet. When Oliver was done mixing, I pressed the mixture into the cookie cutter. I poked a hole with a straw-like instrument I had on hand. Make sure the hole goes all the way through to the bottom of the biscuit, so you can string a ribbon through when they're done baking. The directions I read said to leave the straw in while it bakes, but I actually pulled mine out. It wasn't a problem for us. I gently lifted the cookie cutter away from the biscuit and then got to work on the rest. We got 6 small biscuits out of our mixture. I popped the biscuits in the oven for an hour for them to dry and set.

As they were baking, I put Jo to bed for nap time. As I tucked Oliver in for his quiet time, he looked up at me and said, "OK, so after quiet time, we can go outside and give the birds the food." He is so excited! That made me really happy. The biscuits finished up as they rested, so I finished the project by threading ribbon through the hole in each biscuit, and I tied it with a bow.

As soon as Jo was up, Oliver announced, "OK! We get to go outside and give the birds their food!" He hung each biscuit from the tree. Then, we sat on the porch and blew bubbles, watching for the birds to come.


The birds didn't come. When we ran out of bubbles, I told Oliver we were probably scaring the birds away. So, we went inside, and he watched from the back door.

Finally, a little critter came and ate two of the biscuits. No, it wasn't a bird. It was a squirrel! I captured this photo of the guilty party:

1 comment:

jvkatzen said...

Does it matter if it was a squirrel or a bird?

I have a mid-sized feeding station and whoever comes to eat, comes to eat. Although I admit to a fast intake of breath when, at 1 a.m., I saw a LARGE dark shape at a squirrel feeder. It was one of last year's fawns. I had suspected them of jumping the fence but had not actually seen them inside.